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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains


Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Our All-Girls Trip to the Smoky Mountains was very last minute due to the invite to Dollywood which was about a week away from the date of Family Media Day.  It was an offer we could not refuse, so I said yes and worried about lodging later.


But, little did I know, the date of the Family Media Event was one of the busiest weekends in the Smoky Mountains, and hardly anything was left but either expensive hotel rooms or staying at a hole in the wall place.


When it comes to travel, I make sure that the places I stay in have a high rating, safe for my family, close to attractions, and doesn't cost an arm and leg.  This trip was way too close to back to school time and the majority of my funds needed to be saved for back to school shopping.


So, what did I do about lodging?  Go on Priceline of course!


Searching through Priceline, there wasn't much to choose from.  It almost got to the point that we were going to skip out on Dollywood's Media Day altogether.



Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


But, we lucked out!  I found a 3-star hotel on the busy strip in Pigeon Forge located near all the popular attractions!  Arbors at Island Landing, a family owned hotelier included a free pancake breakfast for all guest at the Reagan's Award Winning Pancake House that's located across the parkway, games, and books in the lobby, plus games and fishing at the river, most importantly, free WiFi!  Also, books filled with coupons of attractions nearby.


Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Arbors at Island Landing doesn't look like much from the outside, honestly, looks like an older, no-thrills, basic hotel.  But, inside the room, it seems like the did some renovations to give the rooms a more modern look.  I love the stonework they did in the shower.  The beds were comfy with heavy comforters that puts you right to sleep.


Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Every Friday and Saturday night, Arbors at Island Landing does bonfires that you can roast free smores and listen to a country singer who sits with guests at the campfire.




If you want to take a dip in the pool, swimming is 24 hours (weather-permitting)


Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


There was a couple of things I didn't care for with this hotel, and that was the horrible traffic in front of the hotel during the day, and if I arrive late in the evenings, it's hard to find a parking spot.  Other than that, this was an excellent budget-friendly hotel.  I would stay there again!  I paid $112 a night, with no resort or parking fees.


Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Check out some of the stuff the girls and I got into during our visit to the Smoky Mountains.


Paula Deen's Restaurant


Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Once we settled in our room and had some yummy smores at the bonfire, we walked to Paula Deen's restaurant located at The Island in Pigeon Forge.  Each time we visit Paula Deen's the food was delicious, but not this time around.

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Our food came out cold as if it was sitting for hours.  Could be because we got there near closing time.  But still, no excuse for cold food at the price we pay for our meal.  I'll return, however, not close to closing time.


Reagan's Pancake House

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Arbors at  Island Landing gave us Breakfast Voucher's to Reagan's Pancake House for each day of our stay.  From 7:30 am- 9:30 am, everyone in my group gets a free pancake breakfast with a beverage- coffee, tea, or coke.  You can upgrade your voucher for a full buffet for a fee of $5 per person.


After 9:30 am, guest with a voucher receive a 20% discount, we did this offer since we slept in.


I got a french toast breakfast which I thought was okay, wish it had a more cinnamon taste to it.  But I loved my scrambled eggs, very cheesy!


When you walk into Reagan's, the hot grease smell hits you letting you know you're about to have a good southern meal.


I'm happy that Arbors at Island Landing partner with this daytime restaurant.


Dollywood

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


See all the fun and excitement here.  I also share about something important that everyone needs to know since I get asked this question a lot.


Sawyer's Farmhouse Breakfast Restaurant

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Although we had another breakfast voucher to eat at Reagan's House of Pancakes, we looked across the street and seen a crowd of people waiting outside.  No way did the girls, and I wanted to wait that long! We had things to do before we hit the road home. So, we went to Sawyer's Farmhouse Breakfast Restaurant located next door to Arbors at Island Landing.


Now, this is who Arbors at Island Landing should have partnered with!  Our breakfast was fantastic!  Down to the last crumb!  Still this day, I'm craving to have another one of their freshly made apple and cream crepes. I'll be returning to this daytime breakfast/lunch spot on our next visit to the Smokies.


Sawyer's serves a variety of breakfast foods including crepes, Belgium waffles, made from scratch pancakes.  For lunch, they offer a selection of burgers, sandwiches, and salads.  This restaurant is a must visit!


Three Bears General Store

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Sawyer's Farmhouse Breakfast Restaurant gave us a voucher to get free fudge at the Three Bears General Store.  (I'm noticing a voucher theme here, getting us to visit local places)


The girls and I went mainly because we heard there are real black bears behind the store we can see for a small fee.


Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


We missed out on feeding time, so by the time we saw the bears they were fastly asleep.  From what I overheard, these three bears were rescued from being killed at a slaughterhouse.  But still, seeing these bears in small plastic confinement is disheartening.  They deserve to be back in the wild.  On our way home from our trip, the girls and I seen a baby black bear in the wild freely playing in a wide open field.  The three bears at the general deserve the same thing, freedom!


Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


The store itself is huge!  Anything you can think of is located inside this favorite tourist store.


Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


We got our fudge, orange cream flavor, and left for our next destination.


Parrot Mountain

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


This is our third time visiting this beautiful garden sanctuary filled with exotic birds and plants.  It's like a relaxing oasis, nestled deep up the mountains near Dollywood.  If you're a huge fan of different kinds of parrots, Parrot Mountain is a great place to get up close and personal with these precious birds.


Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com



We spent most of our time in the nursery checking out all the baby parrots.  You can hold, and love on these birds for as long as you want.


Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains via  www.productreviewmom.com

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


As for feeding, there is a section at Parrot Mountain where older parrots are waiting for guests to feed and hold them.

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Michelle was looking forward to reuniting with her favorite pink cockatoo, Charlie.  Last time she saw him, he would speak to her saying his name was Charlie while they looked at each other, and when Michelle held him.


Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


This time around, Charlie didn't want to be bothered.  He gave Michelle a look of unimpressed, then tried to bite her when she tried feeding him.  Michelle was so sad by this; her heart was broken.


Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


But, Michelle made a new friend, and his name was Charli without an E.  He kept saying hello to her and allowed her to hold him and be hand feed.


Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


My personal favorites were Zelda and Hector.  Both friendly birds who didn't want me to stop feeding them, they were both like bottomless pits!


Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


We can't wait to return again and again!


Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


Here's a tip to save a couple of bucks per ticket.  At the Island in Pigeon Forge, Parrot Mountain has a small store there that sells discounted tickets to Parrot Mountain.  Go there to buy your tickets instead of paying at Parrot Mountain.  Tickets purchased at the Parrot Mountain store never expires, so you don't have to use your tickets on certain days.


Meeting Chad

Quick Girls Getaway to The Great Smoky Mountains  via  www.productreviewmom.com


After Parrot Mountain, we headed back home before it got dark.  I hate to drive in the mountains where animals start coming out at night.


We did a pit stop in Cherokee, North Carolina for gas and to check out Native American shops in this small town.  While there, we saw a guy dressed up in Native American attire and he told us to come here.  He said us his name was Chad and would like to show us a spiritual dance that his people do to call the spirits of the Gods.


It's neat learning about other people's cultures, and I try to have my girls broaden their horizons by seeing and learning different cultures too.


So, there you have it y'all!  A quick Girl's Getaway before school starts.  I love having trips like these so I can have close bonding moments with my girls alone.  Plus, the girls like it that way because I have more patience.  Mr. M always want to rush, and we love to be in the moment, trying to see everything possible.


I hope you all are enjoying your summer!



What trips did you take during summer break?


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